January 16th, 2009


"It's the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you..."

Andrew Wyeth has died, and I'm at a loss for words. We have his amazing work, and for that I am grateful to his memory.

My head is some place strange this morning. No, it's already afternoon. I've been in the house too long, even for me. But the cold outside keeps me in. When faced with this sort of cold, I don't yet know how to overcome my reluctance to be Outside. I need to see the ocean, but the world is frozen solid.

My mouth is much improved, but I'm craving things I can't yet eat. Mostly, fresh produce, fruits and vegetables. I've been eating seedless white grapes, and they seem like the most delicious thing in the world. I'm so tired of tinned food. I want to eat meat that bleeds, and is still recognizably meat.

We read chapters Two and Three of The Red Tree yesterday, and I decided that I have to write the epilogue without finishing another read through. For one thing, there simply isn't time. So, today I'll try to find the matter and structure of the last three or four thousand words of the novel, and try to begin actually writing, instead of talking about writing. I am still so deeply in love with this novel. I want to still feel this way when it's released in August. I don't want to do what I so often do, and put it at arm's length in order to blunt the effects that the negative reaction from reviewers and readers will have on me. I know I've done it right this time. I have to be content with that, regardless of how it will be perceived.

Spooky will be sending out the corrected PDF of Sirenia Digest #37 later this afternoon. My thanks to Gordon for getting to it so quickly.

Last night, we finished watching Jericho. I was pleased, in the end, and pleased with the end. Which, of course, is really only the beginning of a greater story we may never get to see (though I hear rumours of a feature film and a series revival). But that's okay. I applaud the series' creators for their resisting some convenient wrap up, for leaving it hanging like that. One world ended, and there are bad things coming, and maybe hope for another world. Not too shabby. Sure, the plot holes were still there, but the second season benefited greatly, I think, from the creators knowing that they had to get on with it, from having to trim off the fat and lose the soap-opera melodrama.

Also last night, Shaharrazad and Suraa both made Level 55. It only took me nine days, twenty hours, and twenty-three minutes of cumulative game play to achieve. Or just shy of 240 hours. Which is a lot of time to devote to something that I have such mixed feelings about. Someone asked recently why I play WoW if I don't "like" it. It's not that I don't like it. When it's good, it's quiet enjoyable. But too often it grows painfully repetitive and dull. Those quests that feel like make-work, the endless kill missions, and so forth. Too little story, or, rather, too little story that actually seems to be incorporated into the action of the game. I have said before, I'm pretty easy going when it comes to being entertained. You can make me angry, mystify me, make me feel stupid, leave me wondering, break my heart, confuse the hell out of me, and insult my intelligence — but the one thing you can't do is bore me. Boredom is the point of disconnect. With WoW, it's this seesaw experience, between entertainingly goofy fantasy and slogging boredom. I keep playing because I am too often bored, and it's something to do, though, too often, the game bores me. Maybe that answers the question, maybe it doesn't. It's hardly an important question.

My thanks to everyone who has ordered A is for Alien, due out from Subterranean Press next month. And to anyone who has put up the ad banners and links so far. The book can use all the promotion it can get. I fear it will fall between the cracks, that my readers who see me as a "horror" or weird-fiction author will shy away, because it's sf, and that sf readers will shy away because they view me as a "horror" author. This is one reason I have always resisted categorization. A writer has to be free to write what she needs to write, regardless of what people may wish her to write. Anyway, here are the banners again:

Maybe it's time to nail black cloth over the office windows. This is the first office where I've not done that, but these days are just too bright, even when they are utterly overcast.